In 2016, Apple surprisingly released a physical book called Designed by Apple in California, which contained many photos of Apple products created by Jony Ive. In 2019 I left the company and Apple stopped selling the book after that. Although quite expensive, the book was definitely one of the most different products Apple has ever released – and I’m glad I was able to buy one.
When the book Designed by Apple in California was released, the company also shared a video narrated by Jony Ive in which Apple’s former design chief explains what prompted the creation of the book. According to Ive, the book captures amazing transitions and shocking changes over the decades with photos of products and how some of them are made.
Designed by Apple in California was available in two different sizes, but with exactly the same content. It was priced at $199/$299 depending on the size, which led to many jokes about how Apple could even make such an expensive book.
And although most of the book is made up of pictures, there is a short introduction written by Jony Ive. There, I detail that the book is a “representation of our work”. Designed by Apple in California starts with the 1998 iMac G3 (one of Apple’s most iconic products) and goes all the way up to the Apple Pencil, which was introduced in 2015.
Unfortunately, not all products were included in the book. Ive says the decision to “stop somewhere” or not include a specific work was “fantastically difficult”.
What’s so special about this book?
Although the main purpose of the book is to show the history of Apple products through pictures, Designed by Apple in California also shows images of tools and machines used in the product development process.
Some of these images have never been seen before, and others are just nice to look at – like a photo that shows the machine used to make the polished chamfered edges of the iPhone 5.
But even the regular images are amazing to watch, as you can clearly notice that Apple has used high-quality printing standards that make the colors pop and shine.
There’s also a really intriguing photo of a completely scratched and dented first-generation iPhone. Could this be one of the first iPhones ever built, photographed years later?
Quick update: the iPhone in the photo belongs to Evans Hankeywho is now vice president of industrial design at Apple.
By the way, the book contains a silly mistake because it lists the first-generation iPad as a 2009 product, when it was introduced in 2010.
Will there be a second version of this book?
Designed by Apple in California was clearly a tribute not only to Steve Jobs, but to Jony Ive. When the book was introduced in 2016, its purpose was unclear. However, after I left Apple, the book made more sense than ever. It was a way to honor Ive’s decades of work at Apple, which resulted in iconic products we’ll never forget.
I don’t think Apple will ever release a second version of this book, but I would really like to see a new edition in a few decades showing how things have evolved since 2015.
What do you think? Were you able to buy a copy of Designed by Apple in California? Would you like to see a new edition in the future? Let us know in the comments section below.
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